I work with the women’s ministry organization Minnesota Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap hosts a conference every year and as part of that conference our writing team puts together a devotional based on the theme of the conference. The theme for this year’s conference was Audacious Love and I wrote this story to share in the devotional. If you’re interested in getting your own copy of the devotional (with many more great stories in it) you can order a copy at Amazon.
“He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 137:23 (NLT)
Several years ago my husband, John, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a somewhat rare form of blood cancer. As you might guess, when you hear the word cancer it sounds loud and scary in your ears, and the thought that death could be eminent tightens itself around your heart. John was constantly tired and spent a lot of time sleeping. I remember him lying on the couch during his lunch break, trying to gather enough strength to go back and finish his afternoon of work. I looked at him with his hands folded over his stomach, still and quiet, and thought “Is this what he’s going to look like lying in a coffin?” Morbid, I know, but it’s hard not to go there when you’re scared and weary.
From the very get-go of the cancer roller coaster, we were overwhelmed by the care, love, concern, and prayers of our friends and family. It’s very humbling. And then came the afternoon when I was humbled even more by the great love of our friends. We were just about a month into the whole cancer journey, and only a few days had passed since we’d made the news public. I was going to a baby shower for a friend and her newly adopted daughter. Before leaving home, I prayed just one thing: “Lord, please don’t let today be at all about me. Let all of the focus be on Jami and her beautiful baby girl.”
You see, it’s easy to become self-focused when walking through a tough time. Very easy. But I wanted to be able to go to Jami’s shower, enjoy her baby and being with her friends, and not look like a needy person. It wasn’t much to ask of God, right?
At the shower, I gladly answered people’s questions when asked one on one but tried to turn the focus off our situation.
Then it happened. After she’d finished opening her gifts, sweet Jami stood up and said that before people left she’d like it if everyone would pray for John and me. She actually said that God told her not to leave before people prayed for us.
Hello?! Hadn’t the Lord heard my prayer? So much for keeping the focus off our problems. Apparently he had a different plan.
I was humbled and honored and blessed beyond measure. Jami didn’t know how overwhelmed I’d been. But God did, and he let me know that he saw me, loved me, and would take care of me. I don’t understand how or why God urges people to pray for others. It seems to me that if he knows someone needs prayer, he could just, you know, tell himself. But I’ve decided that maybe God nudges us to pray for others so that we get to be part of the miracle. What amazing love, huh?
I was so encouraged and humbled by Jami’s friends (many of whom were also my friends) when they prayed for us, but mostly I felt like God had bent down from heaven and placed a little kiss right on my forehead.
“As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength,” Psalm 138:3 (NLT).
I’m happy to say that we made it through that challenging season of our lives. God held us every step of the way, and my husband is in remission to this day. Praise be to the God who heals!
Reflect and Respond:
Have you ever felt a God kiss? May I encourage you today to write it down? It’s so easy to forget and yet it’s an amazing faith builder when you go back and read about it years later.
Spend a few minutes talking to God about who he’d like you to pray for today. After praying, consider reaching out to that person with an encouraging text or phone call and let them know you prayed for them today.